Selling Glyphs Scares The Hell Out Of Me

There was a time back in Wrath of the Lich King when selling glyphs was my number one source of gold. Now it's a market I cringe away from. Why?

What has changed over the years to turn something I loved into something that scares me to inaction? Read on past the jump to find out.

To The Entrenched

I want to start out this post with this disclaimer: If you are currently making good amounts of gold in the glyph market then this post isn't aimed at you.

You've fought your way to the top of the heap of bloodied bodies of your glyph competitors and you are in a position to reap the rewards of your (likely) hard-fought success.

This post is from the perspective of those of us either in the pile of carcasses and dashed hopes for profiting from glyphs or new-comers looking to start the ascent up the pile in search of riches.

If you have no problems making gold from glyphs we don't need to hear you say "I don't have any problems making gold from glyphs.". We all know *somebody* is making gold from glyphs on our servers. Those people just don't happen to be us.

Trouble In Paradise

In Episode 60 of The Power Word: Gold Podcast I mentioned the WoWuction Global Top Professions tab. I did so in reference to the oft asked question "What is the best gold-making profession in the game?".

WoWuction Top US Professions. Source.

The fact that globally Inscription is the top profession in gold volume belies the fact that in almost all cases the glyph market is very very difficult to break in to.

A new player seeing the above chart would assume that leveling Inscription would be a natural way to make large amounts gold in the game and they would be write but with a few huge caveats.

Why Selling Glyphs Is A Pain In The Ass

Below are a few of the aspects of selling glyphs that a new-comer may not initially be aware of:

  • You will be undercut multiple times a day, sometimes withing an hour, sometimes immediately.
  • If you're not cancelling and reposting often almost none of your glyphs will sell.
  • There are entrenched glyph sellers what will pull every trick in the book to force you out of the market.
  • You can spend lots of time, materials and gold and end up with nearly zero profit.
  • You are susceptible to people (often pissed off by the stress of selling trying to sell glyphs) crashing the prices in glyph markets on a whim.
  • Effective selling of glyphs requires large amounts of storage, crafting time and often an alt devoted specifically to the task.
  • Once you are entrenched in selling glyphs you have to constantly defend your "turf" from competitors new and old.
  • Glyphs can be one of the most complicated gold-making markets requiring knowledge of how to set up and utilize complex addons to run the market effectively.

The Good News

The benefits of clawing your way to the top of the glyph-selling fracas are the following:

  • You stand to make a large amount of gold selling glyphs.
  • You get the joy of putting the boot to the face of any up-and-coming glyph competitors who may become a threat to you.

Is All Hope Lost?

The lists above paints a pretty grim picture for anyone wanting to get into the glyph market. I wish it wasn't true but it is. I speak from experience.

I think it is safe to say that the glyph markets have become "a young man's game". 

In this case the "young man" is someone who has more time, more energy, more tenacity, more ferocity, more stubbornness, more focus and more determination than I do.

All hope is not lost. Obviously someone has to fill the roll of the glyph seller on your server and faction. The question you have to ask yourself is are you willing to gird your loins for the long fight.

If so than the glyph market may be the market you've been looking for. It seems to satisfy a few really dedicated players on each server and faction.

As for this "old man" I simply moved on to greener pastures (just like my glyph competitors likely wanted me to).

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  1. I know *somebody* is making gold from glyphs on my server ! Just kidding :)

    Actually I tried to step inside the glyph market during Cataclysm and sales weren't so good ...

    As you said and due to the huge competition, you need to be really active to succeed in this market.

    I noticed that some players adopted a "cheap prices" strategy in order to deter competition and generate a great "back door" source of profits ...

    Haters gonna definitely hate :)

  2. As a benchmark for anyone reading this and considering it, I was interested in glyphs so entered the market. Levelled my Inscriptionist to 60 and currently have a consistant 150 different low level glyphs that I cancel and repost once or twice a day from a glyph only bank toon. Make about 3k-4k a week pretty consistantly. On the weeks where I cancel/repost more often, the three major competitors crash the market and I make much less.

    All the best,
    Reckles, Fury Warrior, Tanaris-US

  3. In wrath, I never sold any glyphs horde side which is all my crafters, I sold inks. That worked.
    I started a second account and alliance I could sell glyphs.

    I know this post is not suited for someone who can not make gold in glyphs. But my suggestion is always look crossfaction, you never will believe what is there till you check.

  4. I use to sell glyphs in WOTLK as well, I can't remember the exact point when they switched glyphs from sockets to the "learned" concept. This obviously slowed the glyph market hardcore.

    I personally think it would be amazing if they brought back a similar mechanism. It would be really cool if Glyph's "decayed" over time with charges or whatever till a point where they "break" and have to be replaced.

    This would mean more glyphs are sold, which means the market will reinvent itself with competition and will change almost all other markets as well, why? because more milling will be needed. More milling means you change the entire herb market. This than has further downstream effects.